Gaming

Laptop offers one of the best gaming experiences

Gamers have reason to rejoice.

New gaming notebooks unveiled earlier this month sported refreshed Intel mobile processors and Nvidia graphics chips.

Among them is the Gigabyte Aorus 15G, which comes with an Intel 10th-generation Core i7-10875H processor and Nvidia's latest RTX 20-series Super graphics chip.

But what first catches my eye about the Aorus 15G is its keyboard. It uses mechanical switches for a more tactile typing experience than that with a typical membrane-based notebook keyboard.

Not only does the keyboard feel clicky and deep - the keys have a vertical travel distance of 2.5mm compared with the typical 1.8mm - but it also has per-key RGB backlight illumination. This means users can customise the LED colour (16.7 million available colours) of each key using Gigabyte's Control Center utility.

Of course, most users would not go to the extent of picking a different colour for each key. I, for example, simply pick one of the many LED profiles in the software utility that changes the LED colours in a specific pattern and call it a day.

The utility also comes with the usual gaming-centric settings to adjust the speed of the cooling fans and create custom keyboard macros.

Unusually for a notebook with a mechanical keyboard, the Aorus 15G is not chunky. While there are indeed slimmer models in the market, I doubt users will make a fuss over its 2.2kg weight.

The laptop has a solidly built aluminium chassis that barely flexes under pressure. Its aesthetics are inspired by racing cars - there are many vents, some of which seem to be decorative rather than functional.

To my relief, Gigabyte does not go overboard with the LEDs. Other than the keyboard LEDs, only the Aorus logo is lit.

More importantly, the laptop's cooling system seems to work really well. The palm rest and keyboard are comfortable to the touch even after hours of gaming.

The cooling fans are also quieter than I expected. It is easy to ignore the fan noise after a while as the fans run at a constant speed without any sudden high-pitched whines.

The high refresh rate display redraws screen content at a rapid 240 times a second (240Hz) to minimise screen tearing and stuttering in games. Gigabyte says the display has been calibrated by professionals. The screen certainly looks good - the colours are rich but not overly saturated.

Because of the narrow screen bezels, the Web camera has been moved from above the display to below it. Be warned, though, your nostrils will look very prominent in video-chat sessions unless you tilt your head down.

The camera has a physical privacy shutter to block its view when not in use.

With its new, eight-core Intel processor, the Aorus 15G blazes through the PCMark 10 benchmark with a score of 6,407.

This compares favourably with the 5,888 score by the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which has AMD's latest eight-core Ryzen 4900HS chip, but a slower Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics chip.

The new Nvidia RTX 2070 Super (Max-Q) graphics chip in the Aorus 15G offers higher clock speeds than the older RTX 2070 variant.

Unsurprisingly, the laptop produces an average of 124 frames per second (fps) in Doom Eternal compared with 98fps for the RTX 2060-powered Asus laptop at 1,080p and Ultra setting.

Despite a relatively large 94 watt-hour battery, the laptop's power-hungry components mean that it lasts just four hours in the video-loop battery test with the screen set to maximum brightness.

At $3,799, the Aorus 15G is not cheap. But it offers one of the best gaming experiences on a laptop now, thanks to its mechanical keyboard, smooth display and excellent performance.


THE STRAITS TIMES
TECH
EDITOR'S CHOICE

FOR

•Mechanical keyboard

•Excellent cooling system

•Beautiful and smooth display

AGAINST

•Pricey

•Web camera placement not ideal

SPECS

PRICE: $3,799

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-10875H (2.3GHz)

GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB GDDR6 (Max-Q)

RAM: 16GB DDR4

SCREEN SIZE: 15.6 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

CONNECTIVITY: 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort, SD card reader, Ethernet port, audio jack

BATTERY: 94 watt-hour

RATING

FEATURES: 4.5/5

DESIGN: 4/5

PERFORMANCE: 4.5/5

VALUE FOR MONEY: 3.5/5

BATTERY LIFE: 2/5

OVERALL: 4.5/5

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2020, with the headline 'Laptop offers one of the best gaming experiences'. Subscribe